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Elena Moore

Elena Moore is an editorial assistant for NPR's Washington Desk working as the researcher for the 2020 campaign. She previously worked at NBC News and is also a proud former Washington Desk intern. Moore is a graduate from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and is originally from Brooklyn, N.Y.

A calico cat named Patches had belonged to Josie Gower, one of the 23 people killed in the mudslides that hit Santa Barbara, Calif., in January 2018. Patches was thought to have died too.

"We had kinda lost hope," Briana Haigh, Gower's daughter, told NPR. Her mom's several cats had slept in her garage, which was destroyed during the disaster.

Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley continues to face intense criticism for his decision to challenge the presidential election results, the futile enterprise that helped fuel pro-Trump rioters.

Hawley was the first U.S. senator to publicly vow to challenge the Electoral College tally, leading the effort with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reconvened the U.S. House late Wednesday evening, hours after both the House and Senate were forced to go into recess and then into hiding as pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building.

"We always knew that this responsibility would take us into the night and we will stay as long as it takes. Our purpose will be accomplished," Pelosi told the House.

As pro-Trump rioters began storming the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Tammy Duckworth was heading to the Senate floor.

"I was actually in the tunnels under the complex when the breach occurred and Capitol Police told me to barricade myself in a secure location, which I did," the Illinois Democrat told NPR's All Things Considered.

Updated at 11:45 p.m. ET

Congress reconvened Wednesday night to certify President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, just hours after the U.S. Capitol was thrust into chaos by supporters of President Trump — an angry mob that breached the complex in an unprecedented violent act at the seat of America's federal government.

The leaders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar signed a new agreement Tuesday, signaling a possible end to longstanding tensions between the two countries since the summer of 2017.

The move may also mark a shift for President-elect Joe Biden's foreign policy agenda as both countries are U.S. allies in the Gulf region and the U.S. has a large military base located in Qatar.

Updated at 8:44 p.m. ET

The head of a far-right extremist group, the Proud Boys, was arrested in Washington, D.C., on Monday evening less than a day before thousands of pro-Trump and far-right demonstrators are expected in the city.

Enrique Tarrio, 36, was taken into police custody and charged with destruction of property, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police Department.

Iran says it intends to start enriching uranium to 20% at its Fordow nuclear facility, exceeding regulations set by the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action known as the Iran nuclear deal, as first reported by Reuters.

Several people who were at a local New York City Republican club's Christmas party have tested positive for the coronavirus after a video surfaced showing attendees celebrating indoors without masks, Queens Daily Eagle reports.

Three cases have been identified by the Eagle. These include James Trent, who has since been hospitalized.

Two police officers who were part of the raid that ended with the shooting and death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, are reportedly being terminated by the Louisville Metro Police Department. The move comes nine months after Taylor was killed in her apartment when police attempted to carry out a search.

Attorneys for detectives Myles Cosgrove and Joshua Jaynes have confirmed to member station WFPL that both have been given pre-termination letters by Chief Yvette Gentry.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET Wednesday

Colorado health officials say they may have found a second case of a coronavirus variant that was first identified in the United Kingdom. Officials are currently conducting more genetic testing to determine if the variant is present.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced one confirmed case on Tuesday, marking the first time the variant has been officially documented in the United States.

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

Michigan's 16 electoral college votes have successfully been cast for President-elect Joe Biden, overcoming safety concerns from individuals disputing the results of the 2020 election.

In the days of counting that followed election night, there was plenty of stress in the Biden and Harris families. And the whole world could follow along.

The eldest granddaughter of President-elect Joe Biden, Naomi Biden, joked to her 188,000 Twitter followers that she couldn't stop watching cable news and that she'd "kill to be one of those people who 'can't eat when they're stressed' right about now."

Updated on Feb. 25 at 1:45 p.m. ET

In the early weeks of President Biden's administration, his aides are beginning to put policy into action, while the U.S. Senate is taking up his nominees.

The top figures in an administration are made up of a combination of Cabinet and high-ranking nominees who require Senate confirmation, and key advisers tapped by the president, who don't require congressional approval.

President Barack Obama congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his win, urging unity and saying that Biden will "do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote."

The Associated Press called the race for Biden on Saturday morning.

"I encourage every American to give [Biden] a chance and lend him your support," Obama said, adding, "the election results at every level show that the country remains deeply and bitterly divided."

Supporters of President-elect Joe Biden are flocking Saturday to the streets in Washington D.C., to celebrate the news of the Democrat surpassing 270 electoral votes, according to The Associated Press and other news organizations. A large crowd is gathering in Lafayette Square and Black Lives Matter Plaza, areas right next to the White House.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told reporters that the state will conduct a recount given the razor-thin margin between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump.

"The focus for our office and for the county elections officials for now remains on making sure that every legal vote is counted and recorded accurately," Raffensperger said.

"As we are closing in on a final count, we can begin to look toward our next steps. With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia," he predicted.

President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden have very different views on how to tackle America's pressing issues.

That much is clear. But what specifically are they proposing?

NPR Politics has sifted through Trump's and Biden's plans, as released by their campaigns, and narrowed in on a few key issues to show what they're promising and how each man's priorities differ from his opponent's.

Read all of the plans here.

Key priorities

Joe Biden

  • Make public colleges, historically Black colleges and universities, and minority-serving institutions tuition-free for families making less than $125,000.
  • Make two years of community college and training programs tuition-free.
  • Cancel $10,000 of every American's student debt and revise the current loan repayment system.
  • Establish universal prekindergarten.

Key priorities

Joe Biden

  • Combat climate change by pushing the United States on a path toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, with an intermediate goal of ridding the power sector of carbon pollution by 2035.
  • Invest $2 trillion over four years in green areas, including infrastructure, transportation and auto industries, housing and construction practices, nature conservation efforts and work in environmental justice.

Key Priorities: Economy

Joe Biden

  • Increase investments in American-made products and companies, pouring $400 billion into procurement and $300 billion into research and development, with the aim of creating 5 million new jobs.
  • Reverse Trump tax breaks to corporations and seek a higher minimum wage and expanded benefits for low- and middle-income workers.
  • Read details of Biden's plans below.

President Trump and close to a dozen key members of his circle, including senior White House and campaign staff and Republican senators, have announced positive coronavirus test results in the days before and after Trump tested positive.

Update at 10:40 p.m. ET: Sen. Ed Markey has topped Rep. Joe Kennedy, while Rep. Richard Neal beat Alex Morse. Read more about Markey's win here.


Massachusetts voters are to cast ballots Tuesday in one of the last state primaries of the year.

On the first day of the Republican convention in Charlotte, N.C., more than five months after the coronavirus began spreading across the country, President Trump characterized the White House's response as "the exact right thing."

But, following a blueprint he has used for months, he also shifted responsibility for the pandemic response to the states. He accused many governors of having been "ill-prepared" for the pandemic, while praising others for doing a "fine job."

An extraordinarily high number of ballots — more than 550,000 — have been rejected in this year's presidential primaries, according to a new analysis by NPR.

That's far more than the 318,728 ballots rejected in the 2016 general election and has raised alarms about what might happen in November when tens of millions of more voters are expected to cast their ballots by mail, many for the first time.

Updated Aug. 17 at 12:31 p.m. ET

The next phase of the presidential election started Monday with the launch of the Democratic National Convention. While the quadrennial event usually attracts tens of thousands of people to the host city, which this year is Milwaukee, Wis., the coronavirus has erased the possibility of a traditional series of events.

Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall has defeated former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the Republican Senate primary, according to The Associated Press, calming Republicans' worst fears about putting a seat in a deep red state in play this fall with the Senate majority contested.

Challenger Jamaal Bowman has defeated longtime U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel in the Democratic primary for New York's 16th Congressional District, The Associated Press projects.

Updated at 4:45 a.m. ET on Wednesday

Jeff Sessions has lost a bid to regain his old Alabama U.S. Senate after falling from grace as President Trump's attorney general.

Sessions had been hoping for redemption after enduring months of relentless ridicule from Trump that eventually led to his resignation as the country's top lawyer.

Mail-in voting, which tens of millions of Americans are expected to use this November, is fraught with potential problems. Hundreds of thousands of ballots go uncounted each year because people make mistakes, such as forgetting to sign the form or sending it in too late.

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